The Early Hour is a digital parenting platform, with articles and interviews published at 5am (for people who are up early) and a social media network that reaches over 100,000 parents a month. It has been featured in national news (Guardian, BBC TV and radio, Telegraph, Sunday Times) and on loads of brilliant blogs and websites (see below).

It came about because the editor, Annie Ridout (also a journalist, author and founder of online business platform The Robora), was bored of trawling the internet during early morning feeds with her baby daughter. She was unable to find any fresh content that was stimulating, and related to her life as a new parent. Forums weren’t cutting it. Nor was yesterday’s news.

Annie launched The Early Hour, and associated social channels, and it started to grow. And grow. It has now become somewhere (online) for other people to come first thing and read/look at something enlightening, relatable, funny, motivating, shocking, thought-provoking… and feel a little bit connected to all the other early risers.

We’ve interviewed:
Arianna Huffington on sleep and her morning routine.
Benjamin Zephaniah on poetry and politics.
Paul Lindley – the founder of Ella’s Kitchen – on building his baby food empire.
Rudimental’s DJ Locksmith on fatherhood and touring.
Dame Jacqueline Wilson, the children’s book author, on mornings and writing.
Raymond Blanc on eating out sustainably.

And have been featured in:
The Guardian’s Women in Leadership – on Annie’s career/motherhood.
A Guardian Opinion piece – on parenting and early rising.
The Sunday Times – on business, motherhood and childcare.
The Guardian Small Business Network – on negotiations in business.
Lorraine Candy’s Sunday Times column on work/motherhood balance.
The Telegraph – on why networking is important for mums in business.
Guardian Money on fitting freelancing work around family.

Other press, interviews and mentions: ZettelerMaternity Leave Life, Lucky Things, Think Productive, Business InsiderMail Online, The Dad Website, Q&A with Dr Jessamy Hibberd, Doing it for the Kids, Clementine podcast, Parentpreneur podcastNicky Raby’s podcast, Tiny Table

Who makes it happen?

Annie and Joni - The Early Hour - theearlyhour.com

Founder and Editor-in-chief: Annie Ridout
Annie is editor of The Early Hour, author of The Freelance Mum and Shy, a freelance journalist (Guardian, Forbes, Grazia, Red Magazine, Stylist, Metro, Telegraph), and a business coach and consultant. She speaks about parenting and women’s issues on BBC radio and TV, and at live events. And she runs The Robora – teaching women how to start and grow online businesses. Most importantly, she’s a mother to three young children.

“First thing in the morning I like to… drink two fancy instant coffees (yeah, that’s a thing) then go for a 10-minute run. The rest of my morning is spent chasing my son and responding to non-stop questions from my daughter.”

Twitter: @annieridout
Instagram: @annieridout

Email: annie@theearlyhour.com

Lauren Davies - theearlyhour.com

Contributing Editor: Lauren Davies
The founder of HEKA – a multidisciplinary design studio and consultancy with a focus on wellbeing and sustainability – Lauren was named one of the design ‘stars of the future’ by Observer Magazine. She has a never-ending flow of ideas and obsessively researches health, beauty, food and fragrance. She has two young sons.

“First thing in the morning I like to… make myself a fresh juice and get organised for the day ahead”

Twitter: @Lauren_C_Davies
Instagram: @thisisheka

Rich and Joni - theearlyhour.com

Film and photography: Richard Ridout
Richard is a father-of-three, filmmaker, co-founder of The Robora – and he has an eye for typos. He assists the editor, Annie – who is also his wife – with the visual side of The Early Hour.

“First thing in the morning, I like to… drink a litre of premium instant coffee”

Instagram: @richardridout

Matt Bucknall - theearlyhour.com

Graphic designer: Matt Bucknall
The man behind The Early Hour’s logo and general design, Matt recently left his full time post at The Times – rebranding their site – to move to LA. He designs for print and online, past clients include: Glastonbury Festival, Arcadia A Magazine, Caitlin Art Prize, Bob & Roberta Smith and Nike. He’s also big in the Instagram game.

“First thing in the morning I like to… check emails in bed, catch up on the news and then go to the gym”

Twitter: @mattbucknall
Instagram: @mattbucknall

Mike Parks and Charlie

Website designer/technician: Mike Parks
Currently working full time for SwiftKey as a front end developer, Mike is also a freelance website builder/designer with an insane knowledge of the technical side of things. He lives in Surry with his wife Carla and their one-year-old son Charlie.

“First thing in the morning I like to…  stop the cat that woke me up from licking my nose”


Nell Card - contributor - theearlyhour.com

Nell Card
Nell Card is a writer and editor for the Guardian who is about to embark on a freelance career focussing on interiors, style and design. She writes for Elle Deco, Remodelista and The Observer.

“First thing in the morning, I like to… entice my daughter back to bed with promises of stories about diggers…”

Twitter: @nellcard
Instagram: @nellcard

Arnelle Paterson - theearlyhour.com

Arnelle Paterson
Arnelle is a freelance journalist and YouTuber with a passion for people and their stories. She was recently interviewed about her career on the Islam Channel and is currently on Channel 4’s Production Training scheme.

“First thing in the morning, I like to… meditate, check my emails/messages and listen to music”

Twitter: @MsArnelle

Emma Barlow - theearlyhour.com

Emma Barlow
Emma is a London-based writer and editor. As well as creating branded content at an agency in Kings Cross, she enjoys writing freelance lifestyle articles. Mad about music, Emma plays ukulele and is rather keen on Glastonbury festival.

“First thing in the morning, I like to… stick on Spotify and ease myself into the day with some music. (God, I’m such a nerd)”

Twitter: @emmabarlow
Instagram: @emsyemmy

Emma Sheppard - theearlyhour.com

Emma Sheppard
Emma left her post at Travelzoo to embark on a freelance career, writing about her worldly escapades, lifestyle and craft beer for publications including Marie Claire. She was quickly snapped up by the Guardian, where she now works as a journalist.

“First thing in the morning I like to… hit snooze on my phone”

Twitter: @Emmalousheppard
Twitter: @EmmalouSheppard

Johanna - theearlyhour.com

Johanna Derry
Johanna is a journalist who writes for The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, Stylist and Vice, among others. She’s also a keen storyteller and runs a true storytelling night called Tenx9 at her local pub in Balham, south London.

“First thing in the morning I like to, no, need to have a cup of tea. I’m completely rubbish without one. Curling up on my sofa, mug cupped in my hands, daydreaming out of the window for a glorious couple of minutes while I come round… it’s the best.”

Twitter: @johanna_derry
Instagram: @johannad1979

Joel Defries - theearlyhour.com

Joel Defries
He left his role as a Blue Peter presenter in 2010 and has since written articles for The Telegraph and Don’t Panic. Joel now works for Our/Vodka London, from their Hackney base, and writes articles on the side.

“First thing in the morning I like to… watch MTV. It keeps me young, my girlfriend hates me doing it. I need to keep my finger on a pulse. Whose pulse, I am not sure”

Twitter: @joeldefries
Instagram: @joel.defries

Jodie Abrahams
Jodie Abrahams is an east London-based nutritional therapist specialising in women’s health. She takes a science-based, holistic approach, supporting women to find ways of eating that suit their individual biology, lifestyle and goals.

“First thing in the morning I like to write in my journal and do a quick bit of yoga before everyone’s up and the rush to get ready begins”

Instagram: @_jodieabrahams

Zoe Blaskey
Zoe Blaskey is the founder of Motherkind and hosts events, workshops and talks all aimed at helping mums reconnect to themselves in the madness of modern mum life. Zoe offers 1-2-1 coaching, teaches meditation and is the host of the popular ‘The Motherkind Podcast’.

“The first I thing I do is say ‘thank you’ for another day on this bonkers, beautiful planet (cheesy but true).”

Instagram: @motherkind.co


If you’d like to write for The Early Hour, have any feedback – good/bad – or would just like to say “hi”, we’d love to hear from you so please send us an email: annie@theearlyhour.com.

Now, time for some articles. Have a read of The Early Hour